San Jose made an early statement that it is ready to go after the long layoff with a 4-1 pasting of Calgary in Sunday’s season opener. The Sharks closed as 126-home favorites on the NHL odds boards and the total was a PUSH on a line of five goals. This win also helped to erase the memory of four-straight losses to St. Louis last season in a hasty first-round exit from the playoffs.
The Sharks actually trailed 1-0 after the first period against the Flames, but cranked-up the offense with three unanswered goals in the second. Patrick Marleau accounted for two of the goals and Martin Havlat recorded the eventual game winner just over 15 minutes into the period. Dan Boyle added a fourth goal late in the third to complete the scoring. San Jose was outshot in this game 32-29, but credit Antti Niemi with a sharp effort in goal with two periods of shutout play.
The Oilers also got this shortened season off to a solid start with a thrilling 3-2 shootout victory over Vancouver, which is favored by many to win the Western Conference this season. Edmonton won as a 127-road underdog on the closing money line and the total stayed UNDER the 5.5-point line. This win has to be a welcomed sign for the suffering Oilers’ fans who watched their team finish second-to-last in the Western Conference last season.
The Canucks jumped-out to a 2-0 lead in this one after Zach Kassain punched one in late in the second period, but Jordan Eberie cut the lead in half with just four seconds remaining in the period. Ales Hemsky posted Edmonton’s first power play goal of the season late in the third period to send the game into overtime. He also beat Roberto Luongo in the shootout to help secure the team’s seventh opening day victory in the past eight seasons. The Oilers outshot Vancouver 32-29 with goalie Devan Dubnyk posting 27 saves.
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Sharks vs. Oilers Betting Lines and Trends
The Sharks are 4-1 in their last five games following a win but just 8-19 in their last 27 games on the road. The total has gone OVER in 10 of their last 18 games following a win.
The Oilers are 12-43 in their last 55 games against the Pacific Division and 7-19 in their last 26 games following a win. The total has stayed UNDER in 15 of their last 22 games overall.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the road team is 5-3 in the last eight meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in the last four games. San Jose is 11-4 in the last 15 meetings and 7-2 in its last nine trips to Edmonton.
Sharks vs. Oilers Game Prediction
Both teams looked good in their opener, but the Sharks have the overall edge in this contest, especially when it comes to putting the puck in the net. Look for them to test the Oilers’ defense early and eventually wear them down to move to 2-0 on the year.NHL Picks: San Jose 4 - Edmonton 2